Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tokyo Disney Parkhoppers

This is our third full day in Japan, and our third full day at Tokyo Disney. We purchased a three day pass. Tokyo Disney has a quirk, though. For the first two days you have to choose which park you are going to visit. On days three and four (if applicable) you can jump between the two parks. There is a monorail between the Disney hotels, the two parks, and the Disney-friendly hotels (like the Hilton where we are staying). There is a fee for this service, but it is amazing! The trains run every 3-6 minute. They are clean and smooth and overall fantastic.

It turned out to be a bit of a crazy day, but loads of fun. We started the day at Disney Sea and hightailed it to ride Toy Story Midway Mania. Yes, I know I said the line was too long. Don spent 20 minutes in the most organized FastPass lane I have ever seen. Ashley and I spent 45 minutes in line to ride it. Don did not feel comfortable joining us, so he met up with us at the exit. His FastPass was for 3:15 PM (by now it was almost 10 AM) so we went to DisneyLand.

We signed Ashley up for the 2 PM drawing class. Yes, the class was entirely in Japanese. This anchored our day even further.

We rode the tea cups and found our friend Ayako (who we also met in California a few years ago). While in line we saw a woman wearing a t-shirt designed by our mutual friend, Brianna, from California. Start singing "It's a Small World" now. Bonus points if you can do it in Japanese.

I had curry for lunch. Don and Ashley had bacon and pineapple pizza (almost a Hawaiian pizza). 

We saw the Country Bear Jamboree on Vacation. The cast member said it was in English and Japanese, so we didn't need a translation. Hm....the songs were in English (Beach Boys, etc.) but the dialogue was all in Japanese. Fairly easy plot to figure out.

We popped through Swiss Family Treehouse. It seemed familiar, though i'm more familiar with the Tarzan version at Disneyland. 

Picked up FastPasses for Splash Mountain. The challenge was the timing of it all with the drawing class and Toy Story FPs. We hung out until it was for the optimal time.

Ashley did amazing in her drawing class. 

Tried to hightail it back to Disney Sea to use our FPs, but got sidetracked
when we bumped into a bunch of characters and NO LINES by the Main Gate. In quick succession she saw Alice, Prince Charming, and Robin Hood and his Merry Men. We spotted Smee, Belle, Eeyore, Piglet, Aurora and Prince Philip, but were not fast enough to catch them all before they went inside. 

Mad dash to Toy Story. After riding, Don and Ashley opted to wait in line to do it again. The line was only an hour (took them closer to 35 minutes, though). While they rode it a second time, I took Ashley's Panda Bear (Bailashu) on the Duffy tour. There are a bunch of photo spots where you can place your stuffed Duffy and it looks like he is on a world tour. It is a really neat concept. 

I kept bumping into rare characters -- 3 Callebreros and Genie, I also spotted Aladdin and Jasmine playing hide and seek together. Saw Cruella DeVil and told her how nice it was to see her. It really is a treat hearing American English this far away from home. They seemed to enjoy seeing us, too.

I also rode 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Someday I'll figure out the rides are all in Japanese. I don't remember the original. I will say I loved the cars -- they each seated 6 people and were not at all claustrophobic. I have not gone back on the Nemo ride at Disneyland because of the tight quarters. This did not have that issue, but I couldn't follow it.

Met up with Don and Ashley who were tired of waiting (we only have one cell phone between the three of us that works in Japan).

I talked them into riding the gondolas before dashing back for the 5 PM Splash Mountain FP. I'm so glad we did. It reminded me of our trip to Venice nearly 14 years ago, and a different trip we took to Vegas. 

Then the mad dash back....

They rode Splash Mountain, I kept everything dry. Not a bad deal in my book.

Had dinner in Tomorrowland, where we then saw the Electric Light Parade with Masumi. After the parade we rode a few favorites (Haunted Mansion, Pooh, Big Thunder Mountain) again and left as the Park was closing.

Now back at the hotel we are packing up for an early start tomorrow where Masumi and Hiroko will take us to Nikko to see Tom. I anticipate we'll be without WiFi for a couple of days. Then we'll be in Tokyo for a night before heading to Kyoto, Osaka and Nara.

So far we did a pretty decent job with packing. Wishing I packed a three-prong to two-prong outlet converter, band-aids and Noxema. Not the end of the world, but with being at Disney and about to go to the countryside, shopping is on hold.

Wishing I took a picture in the bakery of all the tasty treats. We left without buying any souvenirs. Yes, hard to believe. The picture frames were too small, there were not any Christmas ornaments to be found (a long-shot in June in any country) and nothing else jumped out at us.

More in a few days, unless we find WiFi sooner.

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